Cleat Geeks

Is Derrick Rose Officially Back?

It was a great win for the Chicago Bulls in the season opener against their toughest rival in the Eastern Conference, the Cleveland Cavaliers.Rose&James

Both superstars, Derrick Rose (if he can still be referred to as “superstar”, after those years plagued by injuries) and the arguably the best player in all of basketball, LeBron James, did not enter the first game of the new NBA season completely healthy.
Rose, for obvious reasons, wearing a face mask to protect his left fractured orbital bone, and King James with a back injury that forced him to occasionally lie down on the sideline during the season opener at United Center.
But it is to say that neither Rose nor James seemed to be limited in their game by those injuries. In fact, LeBron showed no signs of an injured back that received multiple injections throughout preseason, when on the court on Tuesday night. Derrick Rose certainly looked better wearing a mask, than sorrowfully sitting on the sideline wearing a suit. A picture fans of Chicago Basketball had to get used to seeing a lot over the last few years.

Derrick Rose finished the first game as the second best scorer for the Bulls, with 18 points and 5 assists, to go with a rebound and a steal. Rose’s FG% (.364) certainly wasn’t impressive, though field goal percentage has never been his strong suit.Derrick-Rose-Edit
“I have to rebuild my game,” Rose said. “Getting used to having the ball in your hands. Dribbling. Doing moves and stepping back like I normally do. Shooting a lot of floaters like I used to. I used to be really creative when I first got into the league, and it’s coming back to me a little bit. In practice, all I’m working on is floaters and finishing.”

Numbers are important, we all know that. But with Derrick Rose not being able to play a full season for the past three years, there’s really only one thing you want to focus on when you watch him play this season: His movement. His nearly unstoppable ability to slash to the rim. His, what they call, “nasty” handle. So, did he show all of those abilities the last two nights? Is the MVP of the 2010-11 season back?DerrickRose1

The answer is: maybe.
Yes, I’m well aware this answer leaves an unsatisfactory aftertaste, but it’s been just two games. There are still 80 more games to go in the regular season. So there’s no way you can predict what’s going to happen for the rest of the season…not with Derrick Rose.

But let me tell you this: I occasionally saw glimpses of the old Derrick Rose from his MVP season. What did my eyes tell me? There is a chance that D-Rose is going to be D-Rose again this season. The way he attacked the rim or pulled up for jumpers indicated that a healthy Derrick Rose still can’t be stopped by anyone. Yes, he missed on multiple occasions, sure. But keep in mind that the 27-year-old point guard had to deal with double vision on one eye, when he went up against LeBron and his Cavaliers. According to ESPN.com’s Nick Friedell, after the Bulls’ 97-95 victory, Rose was asked about his vision on the court, “I wish it was a blink, but it’s all the time. Like right now, I see two of you.”
The three-time All-Star also added, “When I’m out there playing, I’m only using one of my eyes. I close my left eye whenever I’m out here. So I just got used to it from practice.”

Needless to say, for the first time in a long time, we’re seeing a Derrick Rose, who’s showing the will to play and help his Bulls, no matter if he plays with an orbital bone fracture or even double vision. If Chicago’s homegrown star keeps playing the way he played last night, he will undoubtedly make a huge impact for this talented Bulls team.

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